Interview with Silvia Federici on Feminism, Reproduction and the Occupy Movement

Activists occupy bank in London and transform it into a daycare centre to protest cuts to childcare

The interview can be found here:

From the preamble:

Silvia Federici is a veteran activist and writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY.  Born and raised in Italy, Federici has taught in Italy, Nigeria, and the United States, where she has been involved in many movements, including feminist, education, and anti-death penalty struggles. Her influential 2004 book Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation,built on decades of research and activism, offers an account of the relationship between the European witch trials of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the rise of capitalism. Federici’s work is rooted in a feminist and Marxist tradition that stresses the centrality of people’s struggle against exploitation as the driving force of historical and global change.  With other members of the Wages for Housework campaign, like Selma James and Mariarosa Dalla Costa, and with feminist authors like Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva, Federici has been instrumental in developing the idea of “reproduction” as a key way to understand global and local power relations. Reproduction, in this sense, doesn’t only mean how humans reproduce biologically, it is a broad concept that encompasses how we care for one another, how we reproduce our physical bodies depending on our access to food and shelter, how culture and ideology are reproduced, how communities are built and rebuilt, and how resistance and struggle can be sustained and expanded. In the contest of a capitalist society reproduction also refers to the process by which “labor power” (i.e. our capacity to work, and the labor force in general), is reproduced, both on a day to day basis and inter-generationally. It was one of the main contributions of the theorists of the Wages For Housework Movement to Marxist feminist theory to have redefined reproductive work in this manner. In this interview, an extended version of which will appear in a forthcoming issue of Politics and Culture, Federici reflects on the #Occupy movements, their precedents and their potentials.